Daily GK Digest – Feb 23 – Top Current Affairs

Daily GK Digest

Daily GK Digest – February 23rd, 2017 for top current affairs of today. 

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Daily GK Digest

Here is the daily GK Digest for February 23rd, 2017.

Daily GK Digest : Top Five Current Affairs for Today

Sikkim becomes 22nd State to join UDAY

  • The Government of India and the State of Sikkim signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under the Scheme Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY), for operational improvement of the State’s Power Distribution Department.
  • With the signing of MoU, the total number of States covered under UDAY has reached twenty-two.
  • Sikkim would derive an Overall Net Benefit of approximately Rs. 356 crores through UDAY by way of cheaper funds, reduction in AT&C and transmission losses, interventions in energy efficiency, etc. during the period of turnaround.

Bharat QR Launched

  • Union government launched BharatQR code to enable digital payments without card swiping machines.
  • BharatQR works with three payment terminals – the NPCI-backed RuPay, MasterCard, and Visa.
  • To use the BharatQR code, a customer has to download the app of any one of the compatible banks on her smartphone. The code works on Android and iPhone.
  • Consumers will not need to scan different QR codes at the same merchant provided by the different payment networks.
  • Stores will only need to display one QR code at the storefront or through the acquiring bank’s mobile application.
  • The other obvious benefit is that merchants won’t need to spend money buying card-swiping or QR code scanning machines.

Iraqi forces retake Mosul airport

  • US-backed Iraqi forces stormed the Mosul international airport and a nearby military base on its southern outskirts, in a bid to recapture Iraq’s second largest city from the control of the Islamic State militants.
  • Since the ouster of the Islamic State from eastern Mosul last month, Iraqi forces have advanced in sparsely populated outlying areas.
  • The US military commander in Iraq has said he believes US-backed forces will retake both of IS’s urban bastions – Mosul and Raqqa in neighbouring Syria – within the next six months, which would end the jihadists’ ambitions to territorial rule three years after they declared a “caliphate”.
  • Commanders of the Rapid Response Units said that the forces have cleared the village near the airport of bombs and explosives to prepare the way for troops to advance and storm the airport.

Japan Crown Prince Naruhito to abdicate

  • Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito has marked his 57th birthday with a pledge to follow in his father’s footsteps as symbol of the nation when his father’s abdication wish is realized.
  • Naruhito is first in line to Japan’s Chrysanthemum throne and will succeed Emperor Akihito, now 83.
  • Akihito last August expressed his apparent wish to abdicate, citing concerns his age and health may start limiting his ability to fulfil his duties as emperor.
  • The government is currently discussing a special law to allow Akihito to abdicate.

CBEC launches a Mobile Application for GST

  • Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) launches a Mobile Application for Goods and Services Tax (GST) to inform the taxpayers of the latest updates on GST among others.
  • Taxpayers can also provide feedback and contact CBEC’s 24×7 helpdesk “CBEC Mitra” through a toll-free number or email, at the touch of a button.
  • The mobile application can be downloaded free of cost on Android platforms.  The iOS version will be made available shortly.
  • With its elegant and easy-to-use interface, the GST Mobile Application is a yet another initiative by CBEC towards improving ease of doing business and providing outstanding taxpayer services.